The impact of inpatient rehabilitation on progressive multiple sclerosis

Ann Neurol. 1997 Aug;42(2):236-44. doi: 10.1002/ana.410420216.


One of the primary aims of rehabilitation for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) is to reduce their levels of disability and handicap, yet little systematic research into the outcomes of this intervention has been undertaken. This stratified, randomized, wait-list controlled study evaluated the effectiveness of a short period of multidisciplinary inpatient rehabilitation in people with MS. Sixty-six patients in the progressive phase of the disease were assessed at 0 and 6 weeks with validated measures of impairment (Expanded Disability Status Scale and Functional Systems), disability (Functional Independence Measure), and handicap (London Handicap Scale). Both groups were comparable in terms of age, sex, disease duration and severity, disability, and handicap. At the end of 6 weeks, although the level of impairment in both groups remained the same, those who participated in a short period of inpatient rehabilitation (average of 25 days) significantly improved their level of disability and handicap compared with those in the wait-list control group. Despite unchanging impairment, inpatient rehabilitation resulted in reduced disability and handicap in patients with progressive MS.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cognition Disorders / epidemiology
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inpatients*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / physiopathology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / psychology
  • Multiple Sclerosis / rehabilitation*
  • Orientation
  • Recurrence
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Social Behavior
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Walking
  • Wheelchairs